Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative is offering several free courses in the area to kick off the new year, with most classes starting in the coming week.

Courses offered include: Diabetes and Beyond, an educational seminar for people facing diabetes; Staying Active & Independent for Life (SAIL), a fitness program for older adults; Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art designed to improve balance and flexibility; and Powerful Tools for Caregivers, a course designed to help caregivers manage the stresses of caring for a loved one.

For information or to register for courses that require pre-registration, contact Chris Anderson at Northwest OHAI Center of Healthy Aging, (580) 297-5137 or Christopher-M-Anderson@ouhsc.edu. For information on OHAI and its programs, go to OHAI.org.

Diabetes and Beyond

The free Diabetes and Beyond course, designed for people with diabetes or who are pre-diabetic, will be offered at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Jan. 8 to Feb. 12, at Meadows Point Apartments, 1225 S. Cleveland.

Course objectives are designed to "provide you with the tools you need to better manage diabetes," according to a press release.

The six-week class teaches the importance of a healthy diet, physical activity and maintaining a positive outlook.

Pre-registration is not needed for the course.


The Stay Active & Live Independent for Life (SAIL) course will meet in five area locations, beginning as early as Jan. 7, with classes in Enid, Pond Creek, Hennessey and Medford.

According to a press release, SAIL is designed to meet the fitness needs of older adults and includes cardio and strength training along with balance and flexibility exercises.

Other possible benefits of the course, according to OHAI, are improving sleep quality, increasing stamina and energy level, stress reduction, lowering high blood pressure and a reducing risk for falls.

Regional locations and times for the course are:

• Enid: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 7 to March 26, St. Paul's Mother's Day Out, 1810 E. Broadway.

• Enid: 10-11 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Jan. 7, First Presbyterian Church, 502 W. Maine.

• Pond Creek: 9-10 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays or Mondays and Fridays, starting Jan. 13, Sunshine Community Center, 104 S. 1st Ave.

• Hennessey: 1-2 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 13 to April 1, Hennessey Senior Center, 620 E. 2nd St.

• Medford: 5:15 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 15 to April 1, Medford Civic Center, 123 S. Main.

Attendees are encouraged to bring water to class and dress in supportive athletic shoes and comfortable clothes that allow for free movement during exercise.

Tai Chi

OHAI will offer three free tai chi classes beginning Jan. 6, with two locations in Enid and one in Waukomis.

“The movements of the Chinese martial art tai chi can help seniors reduce the risk of falling, increase balance, and increase flexibility,” according to an OHAI press release. “This six week class teaches participants ways to improve their overall mind, body, and spirit through a series of slow continuous movements. It does not matter how strong, flexible, or active you are, as tai chi is designed for people at all levels of health.”

Benefits of the class, according to the press release, include tools for: improving balance and posture; strengthening muscles; improving the quality of sleep; increasing energy level; relieving stress; improving cardiovascular functions; lowering high blood pressure; reducing arthritic symptoms; increasing flexibility and mobility; and reducing the risk of falling.

The course will be offered at the following locations and times:

• Enid: 1:15-2:15 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 6 to March 25, First Baptist Church, 401 W. Maine.

• Enid: 1:30-2:20 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 7 to March 26, Cedar Ridge Wesleyan Church, 5101 W. Randolph.

• Waukomis: 6:15-7:15 p.m,. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 7 to March 26, Waukomis Christian Church, 201 S. Main St.

Pre-registration is not needed for the course.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools for Caregivers will be offered in one location, at the Ponca City Senior Center, 319 W. Grand in Ponca City, 9 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 8.

The six-week course is designed to help caregivers "take better care of themselves while caring for a family member or friend," according to a press release.

Areas of emphasis in the course include: self-care behaviors, such as exercise, relaxation and medical check-ups; management of emotions, and reducing anger, guilt and depression; increased confidence in coping with caregiving demands; increased utilization of community resources; and home and medication safety.

Class participants will receive a copy of the book "The Caregiver Help Book," developed specifically for the training.

For more information, or to register, contact Chris Anderson at Northwest OHAI Center of Healthy Aging, at (580) 297-5137, email Christopher-M-Anderson@ouhsc.edu, or Tina Ruding at tina-ruding@ouhsc.edu.

Registration is required to guarantee availability of presentation materials.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
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